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Comment: Re:Good Stuff (Score 4, Funny) 92

by vmxeo (#45634939) Attached to: New Superconductor Theory May Revolutionize Electrical Engineering

Whoa there buddy. I'm not against "super"conductors. I just think we should suspend all research, development or mention of them until they've been proven completely and absolutely safe. We wouldn't want them accidentally polluting our good, clean, natural, organic conductors, now would we? Think of the children!

The Courts

+ - US DOJ claims it did not entrap Megaupload->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of Justice did not mislead a court and attempt to entrap file storage site Megaupload on copyright infringement charges, the agency said in a new filing in the case. Megaupload's charges that the DOJ conspired to entrap the site on criminal copyright charges are "baseless," an official with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in a court document filed last week. Earlier this month, Megaupload filed court documents saying that in 2010 the DOJ asked the site, through its hosting vendor, to keep infringing files as part of a DOJ investigation, then later charged Megaupload with copyright infringement."
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Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42295277) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows.

You'd know better than me, but I suspect recording at higher frame rates then digitally down converting the rate down would allow you to get more than 360 degrees of shutter angle. So you could get a blur like 24 fps with 24 fps speeds. Of course that would be expensive today, but in a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if it become common place.

I've done the same thing with our radar system. Our raw "frame rate" is 1/200 of second at a 348.75 degree shutter. Post processed we usually use 1/5 of a second and the shutter angle varies depending on what we're trying to see.

You're right, there's ways of cheating around it after it's been filmed. You have the luxury of simply needing it to be accurate rather than just look good to someone else though ;)

Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42295173) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

So could one film at 48fps with a higher shutter rate to get a smoother (i.e. more motion blur) effect?

Theoretically 24fps with a 180 shutter angle and 48 with a full 360 shutter angle would have the same amount of motion blur, as they'd both expose the individual frames at 1/48 second. I'm not sure how'd that'd look, or if its even possible to do with a camera. Might be fun to try.

Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42295059) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows.

Post processing by averaging frames is definitely practical, especially as these were shot on digital cameras to begin with. Of course, you loose most of the benefit of the higher frame rate if you do that, but it is entirely possible if they decide they don't like the raw results.

"Practical" in film terms has a very precise meaning which I kinda glossed over. It means something that can be done in camera. What you're referring to is what would be referred to in the past as a "special" effect. Today I mostly hear it referred to as a post effect, digital effect, or more commonly, expensive. :)

but yes it is possible

Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42294965) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

It sounds like you're saying that this formula holds:

disk spin rate ~ (proportional to) shutter angle * frame rate ... and that if you keep the speed at which the disk spins fixed, then as you bump up the frame rate, the shutter angle falls.

Why not simultaneously make the disk spin faster, and increase the frame rate, so can keep the same shutter angle?

Ehh... its more like (1/framerate) / (shutter angle/360) = shutter speed. So at 24fps at 180 degree shutter angle you'd have a shutter speed of 1/48 of a second. Compare that to 48fps, where you have 1/96 of a second exposure. You now have twice the FPS with half the motion blur. You wouldn't think it would look much different but it does. That's the difference between "dreamy" 24fps and "more realistic" 48fps.

Though since you brought it up, you could theoretically shoot at 48fps with a full 360 shutter angle and would have the same motion blur as 24fps at 180. I have no idea of how it would look, or if thats even possible with any camera, but it'd be interesting to try.

Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42294671) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

Hi there. Technical director here. Just need to step in a clarify the relationship between frame rate and motion blur... Here's the catch though: because your film stock is rolling by at 24 frames per second, each frame can only be exposed for 1/24 of a second or less. If you use a smaller shutter angle, or faster frame rate, you get less motion blur.

That sounds like it used to be true for old-fashioned film photography, but is surely irrelevant in a world where we can post-process to get any effect we want, and can use CCDs on digital cameras to be exposed for as long as we want.

Not at all irrelevant. I can't expose frames for a full second if I expect to be filming at 24 frames per second. In fact, to actually record 24fps, I need to expose and record 24 frames per second. I can of course, lower the frame rate in post through a variety of methods, and there are even some tools for interpolating higher frame rates (e.g.Twixtor for AE). But there are no straight forward ways of exposing longer than your frame rate allows.

Comment: Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (Score 1) 599

by vmxeo (#42290169) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

I recently played a game called Nitronic Rush (fast free Wipeout clone, with tron-esque graphics, great fun btw). I set it to 60fps, but the graphics are 'enhanced' by motion blur, which 60fps normally doesn't 'need'. We're talking at least a couple of frames worth, and maybe up to 5 frames worth of artificial motion blur. However, I find this actually gets the best of both worlds. You get the smoother motion so that your eyes don't ache, and any fast panning looks convincing. But you also get the cinematic 'blurry' look that 24fps films provide (24fps film techniques employ motion blur naturally, or at least something similar to motion blur).

I think 60fps with this kind of motion blur may have a big future for it.

Sorry, but while you can do high frame rates with large motion blur values on the computer, it doesn't work like that for film/video. I've written a whole long post as to why it doesn't in a thread below, but the short of it is this:you can't get more motion blur than your frame rate allows. If you're shooting 60fps, that means 1/60 second or less of motion blur, which isn't much. In the CG and gaming world, there are cheats around this. But again this doesn't work for film/video (unless you add it in post, but again that's a CG cheat ).

Comment: Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (Score 5, Informative) 599

by vmxeo (#42289925) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

Hi there. Technical director here. Just need to step in a clarify the relationship between frame rate and motion blur. I'm seeing a lot of posts that are calling for higher frame rates with more motion blur, as if they are two completely independent things. They're actually closely linked. Let me explain:

Motion blur is the effect of a moving object in the frame while the shutter is open. In photography, the time the shutter is open is called the shutter speed, and is used along with iso and aperture to control the overall exposure. If you know anything about photography, this is pretty basic stuff.

In the film world, the equivalent of shutter speed is what's known as shutter angle. This is because the shutter for film camera is a spinning disk, of which a portion lets light through and a portion blocks it as it spins. The portion, measured in degrees, that lets the light in is the shutter angle. Typically, the shutter angle used in film is 180 degrees, meaning during half that 1/24 of a second frame rate, the film is being exposed. In photographic shutter speed terms, that would be the same as 1/48. Again, not too complicated.

Here's the catch though: because your film stock is rolling by at 24 frames per second, each frame can only be exposed for 1/24 of a second or less. If you use a smaller shutter angle, or faster frame rate, you get less motion blur. What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows. The faster you go, the crisper the action will be.

So at this point you're probably wondering who cares about the amount of motion blur in a movie? The answer is: the audience. The industry has shot film at 24fps with a 180 degree shutter angle for so long that's what everyone is used to. The last thing you want is to distract your audience away from enjoying the movie because there's know there's something different about the picture quality but they can't figure out what.

Finally, I'd like to point out that this choice of frame rate, like many other subjective decisions that are made during a movie production, are made at the director's discretion. Peter Jackson is going out on a limb by shooting a movie at this frame rate, and doubtless he has his reasons for doing so (mostly due to it being shot in 3d as I recall) but it's still his call. The industry talk I hear views it as an experiment, and everyone's curious as to how it will work (or won't). If audiences do get used to it and like it, expect to see more movies shot like this, and in enough time it will be the new standard.

Comment: Right conclusion, wrong reasoning (Score 4, Insightful) 36

by vmxeo (#41973497) Attached to: Fabricating Nature and a Physical Turing Test

CG artists and designers know very well the limitations and tediousness of modeling with polygons. Mesh models tend to have all kinds of problems such as cracks, holes and self-intersections. This is due to a disconnect between the real world being represented and the modeling software's attempts to represent real, volumetric, complex and “messy” objects by only surfaces.

The attack on polygons is rather unwarranted. True, surfaces are only able to visually represent an actual solid object, but then again for most visual media that's all you need them to do. Ever been on a movie set? The walls are thin wood supported by flimsy frames. Floors are painted on. Props and set pieces are often foam. Materials are cheap, lightweight, and easy to handle. There's no way any of that would work for an actual building, but again, it doesn't need to. It just needs to look like it could work.

Printing real world objects will need to account for much more than simply surfaces, much as a real structure requires more design and construction than a movie set. Developing procedurally generated materials and processes is an important step in making that happen. This goal of this project is to do just that.

In short: It's new media. New media requires new ways of working.

Comment: Re:should be faster... (Score 1) 60

by vmxeo (#41960317) Attached to: World's First 3D Printing Photo Booth

I don't get why it would take 15 minutes?

If it's laser based (lidar), you should be able to have a single lidar rotate around your body in less than a minute.
If it's IR based (think Kinect) you should be able to image in less than a minute.

The required CPU power and data storage are non issues on any modern computer.

15 minutes seems about right. I'm guessing they've simplified the article a bit by lumping the acquisition and cleanup stages together.

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